I’ve decided to accept
that this prairie will be dry
mostly
for a long, long time—
maybe always, as my life goes,
except for occasional
floods.
That’s the natural prairie cycle—
drought and flood—
exacerbated,
made extreme (especially the drought times,)
due to global warming.
Giving up expecting
that three-inch rain—
years overdue—
has relieved the tension,
the sense of urgency
I was just barely
keeping at bay.
Wishing for rain
doesn’t seem to produce rain.
So when a slow, light, all-day shower
felled 1/2-inch of water
on the land a few days ago,
I could gladly relish it, without
the angst of wishing,
expecting
more.
I was surprised
next morning
when the sun shone
on the big, old Hackberry tree:
the thick arms
were coated in bright green!
A little water
to glad effect:
moss and lichen, too pale to notice
before the rain,
brightened with moisture.

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Yesterday, Sunday,
Maizey and I walked down the road,
out into the pasture,
past two dried farm ponds,
across a cattle guard into another pasture,
past another, bigger, dried farm pond,
along an old oil field road,
to the flood-control reservoir that was created
by damming Doe Creek.
The reservoir has gone down considerably,
and the outlets are drying.

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Just below the dam,
half a mile downstream,
beavers, for 20 years, lived and created
a beautiful wetlands. Now the creek
is dry; the beavers long-gone.
But yesterday I noticed recent
tree-felling activity
above the reservoir; and one downed log
that seems to be where they supper.
I couldn’t find a beaver dam close-by;
this will require another search
another day. If beavers are active here,
they are dragging the downed trees
a long way.

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I found a large
turtle shell and,
walking home through the pasture,
a village of armadillo homes dug
into the dry soil.

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Perhaps
this land will become more hospitable
to armadillos than turtles
or people.